Three volunteers for Batemans Bay Public School were among 12 who attended ethics teacher training held at Narooma over the weekend.
“It was great to meet other like-minded and enthusiastic people,” said Heidi Thomson, who has put up her hand to coordinate the program at her children’s school next year.
Primary Ethics is a not-for-profit organisation that works with the Department of Education to offer discussion-based classes to those students who have opted out of weekly religious education classes. There are currently 500 primary schools in NSW that offer the program with the help of trained volunteers like Ms Thomson.
“The program gives students skills and practice in thinking about issues for themselves and engaging in thoughtful conversations on a huge range of topics,” Ms Thomson added.
“The teaching techniques will be useful not just in ethics classes but inmy work and family too,” she added.
Christine May from South Durras also attended the training and plans to facilitate an ethics class at Batemans Bay Public School next year.
“When I was involved with the NSW Federation P&C Associations 15 years ago we initiated discussions with NSW Department Education about the introduction of ethics classes and it’s great to now be involved on a practical level in teaching.” Ms May said.
“Ethics classes are a chance for children to learn to talk and listen to each other respectfully, even when they have quite different views. And they can learn to work together to make logical or well-reasoned decisions rather than just go along with something because of peer pressure,” she said.
Other attendees at the training came from Gerringong, Bermagui, Narooma and Pambula.